This throe is taking for-freakin'-ever.

So, it was slightly over a year ago that a certain Mr. Dick Cheney assured us that we were witnessing “the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency”. Looking back over the past year, I have to say that these were quite some throes we witnessed there, and they appear to be ongoing. These throes included the death of over 800 coalition troops and more than 4,000 injuries. The civilian death toll has been over 12,000 during these throes alone. Hell, in these throes even the falafel vendors weren’t safe. All in all, I sure hope these are the last throes, because if there turn out to be more throes after these ones, in ain’t gonna be good for anyone, military, civilian, or falafel industry.

Ever since day one, the chickenhawks have been assuring us that victory is just around the corner in Iraq. Yup, no doubt about it, gonna be happening in just a minute. Honestly. Just you wait and see. Only 5,000 insurgents left in Iraq. Just a few remnants of Saddam’s regime hanging around. Cleaning 'em up won’t be a problem. Just a few more months now. Okay, so it’s more than just loyalists to Saddam, it’s also foreign members of al Queda infiltrating Iraq. Even so, we’ll take care of 'em. Just a few more months. Wait and see. We’ve almost won now. Okay, so there are also local militias, but even so we’re on the verge of winning. Victory is right around the corner. You’ll see.

The chickenhawks have long since abandoned any pretense of giving the public an accurate picture of the situation in Iraq, the state of the insurgency, or the probability of the conflict ending anytime soon. Then again, no one expects them to be honest about anything. What’s pathetic is the media’s utter inability to call them to out on their never-ending stream of wrongheaded predictions.
You could bet this amount of money that no one in the White House Press Corp will make Cheney explain how these last throes managed to be so much worse than the earlier throes, nor will they ask for an explanation of how much longer these throes can go on. Nor will any Bushie have to answer for the numerous claims that the insurgency was on the brink of defeat. I know something that actually is in its last throes: their credibility.

Sure, but if they can just keep our boys fightin and dyin over there til 2009, they can blame the failure on Hillary, or whichever dem occupies the white house, and set themselves up for a strong showing in 2012.

What’s your point?

Do you have a solution to the problem, or are you just going to bitch and whine? I fail to see the purpose of simply reiterating what everyone with half a brain already knows.

Yes, Bush and Co. have gotten us into this mess. They’re idiots. But right now, no one has managed to propose a better way of getting us out than what Bush and Co. are already doing.

Already doing? They’re already doing something to get us out? What?

Spending every goddamned nickel in sight?

But Iraqi oil sales were supposed to cover costs, wern’t they? And oil is at historic highs right now…

But, but . . .

Didn’t we have Mission Accomplished already?

Anyone who expects anything but self serving lies from our current executive branch has obviously not been paying attention.


Has anyone proposed any solutions for getting us out? Is anyone really working on any solutions other then “stay the course?” I confess I don’t follow the news as closely as I should but I don’t recall hearing much about potential solutions being proposed by anyone. Granted there are certain military secrets that none of us should be privy to, but all I keep hearing is “its going to take a little longer then we thought and stay the course.”

No less political figures than Russ Feingold, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer have such a solution (or proposed solution, at least; and, having read nothing of the exact verbiage, it could in fact be a resolution congratulating Pee-Wee baseball teams for not picking their noses while the cameras were on).

I’m still not sold on the viability of a proposal that’s backed by Kerry and Boxer, polarizing figures as they are in American politics.

Well the democrats have of course, but the republicans keep shooting down any such ideas. As for the president, he’s leaving withdrawal up to his successor:

Ok, so I interpret that as just more “Stay the course, (until it is not my problem anymore).”

I would be curious to see what the dems have proposed and if it is even remotely practical.

That’s the plan for complete withdrawl within one year. They got 13 votes (including themselves) in the Senate. Doesn’t seem the Dems are too hot on that idea themselves.

The other Democratic proposal just called for a Bush to being a phased redployment by year’s end, but didn’t set a timetable. That got most of the Democrats’ suipport, but still didn’t pass. Frankly, I don’t see the point in such a weak (and non-binding, btw) resolution. I think pretty much everyone expects troop draw-downs to begin by the end of the year (probably sooner). That proposal was a meaningless piece of mush.

Well, the obvious solution is to just leave. I know quite a few people who’ve said we should.

Obviously easy, for what that’s worth, which isn’t much.

My preference is something inbetween the two Democratic proposals. I’d like to see troops starting to come home this summer (not by the end of this year). I’d like to see a point where we’re down to ~50,000 troops. Whether that’s next year or one or two years later, let the administration decide. After that, I don’t think it makes sense to set a date for full withdrawl… yet. After we’re really serving as just a background role in keeping the peace, then set a date to get us the hell outta there.

What’s $10 billion a month to you, chopped liver?

The money is already appropriated. I prefer to the right thing, though, not the cheap thing.

Appropriation of the money doesn’t require the bureaucrats running this war to actually spend it. They could cut us taxpayers a break. Besides, sometimes the cheap thing to do is the right thing to do.

Yeah, and sometimes it’s not the right thing to do.

I layed out, above, what I’d like to see done and it isn’t just get out immediately. I’m as certain as I can be that if we just bugged out now Iraq would descend inot a real civil war that could very well invlove Iran, Turkey, and even Saudi Arabia. There aren’t any good solutions, I’m just proposing what seem to me to be the least worst solution-- a phased withdrawl that give the Iraqis a chance to avoid all-out civil war but does give us Americans some light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, that does cost money. But I still see it as the least worst solution. YMMV.

Well sure, the president can’t just call up Baghdad and tell the generals to have everyone move south next tuesday. It’ll have to be a phased withdrawal or there’ll be hell to pay. The point is that we need to get started on the damned thing. This sitting around on our butts, waiting for a shining city on a hill, is costing us lives and treasure to no plausible end. It’s time to start moving on.

Is it too late to pull together a real coalition, preferrably one with some Arabic countries involved, like we had during the Gulf War? Wouldn’t that quiet some of the concerns that this is a war on Islam, or that we are trying to steal Iraq’s resource for America and Britian(can’t blame them for thinking that, considering the history of the region). And if there really is a danger of destabilizing the region, why aren’t the neighboring countries more eager to help? Or would that make things worse? I don’t mean necessarily the next-door countries, but aren’t there at least a few predominately Muslim or Arabic states in the region not run by crazy people or warlords or whatever?